Saturday 17 December 2022

Book ~ "Muffin But the Truth" (2022) Ellie Alexander

From Goodreads ~ Ashland is known for its Elizabethan charm and touches of Shakespeare around every corner but the surrounding Rogue Valley draws adventure enthusiasts to its outdoor wonderland of high alpine lakes, mountain ranges, and pristine rivers. 

Jules Capshaw and the team at Torte have been hired to cater a weekend getaway on the mighty Rogue River. Jules is going to have to put her culinary skills to the test while baking gooey chocolate chip skillet cookies over an open flame and preparing extravagant feasts under a canopy of stars. 

The executive team at a big city firm will be rafting the Rogue’s rapids and gathering around the campfire for spooky stories but their dysfunction quickly begins to show. Between constant bickering and heavy drinking, Jules wonders how the team can accomplish anything. She’s happy for a brief reprieve when they zip up their lifejackets and head out in their boats but the serenity of the scene quickly vanishes when Jules discovers one of the execs floating face down in the water. She’s going to have to uncover the truth before she gets pulled under.

Juliet (aka Jules) was raised in small town Ashland, OR, which has a Shakespearean theme. She grew up helping her parents in their bakery and went on to culinary school. After working for many years on a cruise line, where she met her Italian husband, Carlos, she moved back home to take over the family bakery, Torte. Though she shares ownership of it with her mother, who is married the local head of police, Jules does the day-to-day running of it. Carlos runs the winery they have majority ownership of. Ramiro, Carlos' son from a previous relationship, is in high school and spending a year with them.

Jules and the Torte team have been hired to cater an outdoor glamping outing for executives of a firm from the city. It's supposed to be a teambuilding adventure but Josie, the boss, is always being rude to the execs which has everyone on edge. After a night of them eating, drinking and being degraded by Josie, Jules welcomes the quiet the next morning as she heads to the river for water ... until she sees a body in the water. She jumps in but it's too late. While the investigation goes on, the team isn't allowed to leave Ashland and strange things keeps happening to them.

This is the sixteenth in the Bakeshop Mystery series (I've read them all) and I thought it was okay. The whodunnit came up rather quickly and I didn't think the reason justified the murder. It's written in first person perspective in Jules' voice.  It was a quick light read and is a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity. It works as a stand alone as there is plenty of background info provided.

No comments: